From a team vote, the ASU women's lacrosse team has elected its first two captains as the Sun Devils start their inaugural season. Junior transfers Kerri Clayton and Rachel Gregory will lead an ASU team dominated by underclassmen.
“It's really cool (that) we are the two that get to set the way for everyone," Clayton said. “The freshmen have been relying on us a lot, but even if it's something like they need schedule help, they know to come to me and Rachel.”
“Coming from a school that I didn’t really have the best experience at to coming here, it feels really great," Gregory said. "(That), and to be a part of something and a leader of something.”
Head coach Courtney Martinez Connor had high praise for her first captains at ASU.
“Kerri Clayton is a tremendous attacker who is super quick and shifty for her size, and I think she is going to surprise a lot of opponents who maybe didn’t see her this fall,” Martinez Connor said. “Rachel Gregory was a great addition to our team, another transfer. She leads by example, and I think she's someone who the girls try to emulate because she does everything at 110 percent.”
The team expects Clayton to have a vital role offensively at attack, while Gregory will be a leading defender.
One goal for the team is to establish team chemistry, which creates comfort among teammates. That comfort allows players to play looser when they have trust and a bond with their teammates.
Captains represent respected leaders of any team or organization. As a captain of any team, it is pivotal to build team chemistry, which is the foundation for a team's success.
"Last year there was 16 of us here, you knew everything about everyone, so we just wanted to make sure we kept that same chemistry and be best friends on the field and off," Clayton said. "It definitely correlates to friends off the field to on the field. You just make passes that you wouldn't make with a stranger."
With just a few days left leading up to the regular season, the Sun Devils are poised to start competing at the Division I level. ASU will start its season when they travel to Kennesaw State on Friday, Feb. 9.
“As a team we have really come together these last couple of weeks," Clayton said. "No one knows what to really expect from us, so just kind of coming out strong and showing everybody what we are made of is really exciting."